End-of-Year Update

New Jersey:

Bridgegate: I live one mile south of the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee where the notorious three-tollbooth lanes designated for local traffic were restricted to only one for a few days in early September.   Traffic in Fort Lee was horrendous.  Gov. Christie asserted that these three tollbooths were used only for Fort Lee residents. This is a gross mischaracterization of the traffic going to the bridge during rush hour.  Motorists from Fort Lee, Cliffside Park, Fairview, Edgewater, Guttenberg and probably other communities use that particular entrance to the GW.

What were Port Authority officials thinking when they restricted access to the bridge claiming they were conducting a traffic study to see the impact of closing two lanes?

Transportation studies can be conducted using a computer simulation to determine the effects of the lane closures without disrupting the actual traffic of an area being analyzed. In short, there was no need to close two of the lanes. Whatever the motives were of Messrs. Wildstein and Baroni, two smart Christie appointed officials who resigned in the wake of this brouhaha, the fact is politicians should not run key sectors of the economy.  Why? Because their motives and goals are much different than managers of businesses who have to satisfy shareholders or risk their own capital.

The bottom line is very simple government should get out of the transportation businessAt the very least, transportation professionals not political appointees should be making decisions about the use of bridges, tunnels and highways.

Tuition EqualityGov. Christie recently signed the bill giving children of illegal aliens the right to pay in-state tuition at state supported institutions of higher learning. This has upset some New Jerseyans who feel this is rewarding illegal immigration.

This is yet another example of why state colleges and universities should become financially independent.  If all institutions of higher learning did not receive taxpayer funds, then each institution would set its own policy regarding what to charge tuition to children of illegal aliens.

As far as Gov. Christie’s support for tuition equality, it may hurt his putative run for presidency in 2016. In the grand scheme of things, tuition equality is one of the least important issues facing the nation. The more important issues are war and peace, the Federal Reserve, taxation, regulations, healthcare, and the size and scope of the federal government.  Illegal immigration may get some peoples’ blood pressure up, but in the final analysis, we will be facing more financial crises in the future if the federal government does not get its fiscal house in order and the Federal Reserve keeps enabling the Congress to spend money it doesn’t have.

If Gov. Christie becomes a presidential candidate, he will have to address these issues and demonstrate whether he supports crony capitalism, a bloated federal budget, the Federal Reserve’s legal counterfeiting and an interventionist foreign policy.  If Gov. Christie is the second or third or fourth coming of another failed neoconservative presidential candidacy, then a strong third-party candidacy may emerge to challenge both the big government Democrats and big government Republicans in 2016.

Murder and Carjackings:

The murder of a young attorney at the Short Hill Mall by four allegedly carjackers is a sobering lesson for the people of New Jersey. We are defenseless outside our homes and apartments because it is virtually impossible to obtain a concealed carry permit in the state of New Jersey.

This is not to say that everyone should or must carry a firearm to protect himself and his loved ones in public. But responsible firearm owners should have that choice in a society where some sociopaths show no value for human life.  Why legislators and their allies in the so-called gun control community have such disregard for human life is astonishing. There ethic boils down to one proposition: it apparently is better for innocence to be targets then have the ability to protect themselves from these marauding murderers.

As far as the proper punishment for these alleged murderers, I no longer believe in capital punishment. The proper punishment for individuals who commit capital crimes such as murder, armed robbery, armed carjacking, brutal assaults, rape and other heinous crimes is deportation to the farthest ends of the Earth.  There would be no need for prisons costing taxpayers $20-$40,000 per year per prisoner to keep them fed, housed and clothed.  Taxpayers, especially victims of crime, should not be punished once or twice for the egregious acts of violent criminals. It is time to reconsider the proper punishment for the sociopaths among us.

The Federal Government:

We are witnessing the last chapter or chapters in the welfare-warfare state experiment.  The recent budget deal crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Murray is another example of bipartisan “head in the sand” deal making regarding the federal government’s fiscal policies. We desperately need to debate the proper role of government in a free society. Instead, the Republicans who claim to be great champions of limited government and free enterprise, are really nothing more than caretakers of the welfare-warfare state.  In other words, electing get along (moderate) Republicans to Congress will not change the status quo.

The hundredth anniversary of the Federal Reserve came and went, and at Ben Bernanke’s last news conference none of the reporters asked the outgoing chairman of the Fed is he proud of the fact that his policies literally stole hundreds of billions of dollars of interest from seniors and other savers who keep substantial funds in banks across America?  Why no one asked the really tough question, why the Federal Reserve has undertaken the greatest transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street in American history?  The chairman’s answer would have been revealing, to say the least.

In addition, we should have a thorough review of the Federal Reserve’s policies to determine how it creates the cycle of boom and bust.  People can start by viewing the documentary, The Federal Reserve:  100 Years of Boom and Bust available on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFBkFxKMesQ&feature=youtu.be.

Obamacare is the nightmare that free market economists predicted it would become. This is yet another example why government should get out of healthcare completely and leave it to the people to arrange their healthcare needs through voluntary exchange. That means the private sector and nonprofit sector must be given the freedom to meet the American peoples needs.

In 2015, the 50th anniversary of both Medicare and Medicaid, would be an ideal time to reflect on these financially unsustainable programs.

On the international scene, the warmongers in both parties are whooping it up for an attack on Iran, a nation that poses no threat to America nor has it issued threats against the American people.  People of goodwill across the political spectrum must say no to the proponents of military intervention who keep asserting that there are numerous nations around the globe that are threat to the American people’s security.

The truth of the matter is presidents for more than 100 years have lied to the American people using every devious method to get us involved in wars. It is time to say no to the military industrial complex that seeks to maintain and expand America’s overseas empire. Like all nations that engaged in empire building in the past, maintaining troops around the world in the name of national security is not only financially unsustainable but also morally reprehensible.

In the final analysis, statism is a failed philosophy.  Liberty and free enterprise create prosperity not the Federal Reserve’s printing press nor the federal government’s spending.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

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